Natasha Johnson is suing the Rendered Services towing company for allegedly towing her car with her four-year-old daughter still inside. As a result of the mishap, Johnson claims that her daughter, Jakala Walker, was stuck in the car for more than two hours on a cold November day and suffered frost bite.
Last November, Johnson's friend, Henry Merchant, parked the car carrying the little girl in front of a dry cleaning store across the street from Paul Cuffee Academy, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Merchant had parked so that he could pick up Johnson's three other children.
Jakala Walker was apparently sleeping under a coat in the backseat of the car when a tow truck arrived to take the car away. Merchant says he saw the tow truck driver pulling away and screamed at the driver that the girl was still in the car, reports the Sun-Times. It’s not clear if the driver didn’t hear, or just ignored Merchant, but the driver kept driving away.
Merchant then says he called Rendered Services and told them what happened. Instead of taking action (like taking the girl out of the car), the lawsuit claims that the company simply told Merchant that he would have to pick up the girl himself. More than two hours later, Natasha Johnson showed up at the tow yard and saw that her daughter was still inside the car. The girl suffered frost bite from being in the car so long.
In her personal injury lawsuit against Rendered Services, Natasha Johnson will probably want to show that Rendered Services was negligent in not checking the car for passengers prior to towing and careless in their response when Merchant called and told them the girl was inside the car.
It would be reasonable to assume that a towing company should take certain safety precautions like looking inside a car before towing. At the least, it should be expected that the company would take more proactive action after being told that the girl was trapped inside.
Instead, the lawsuit accuses Rendered Services towing company of doing nothing, and now the company could pay for Jakala Walker’s injuries.
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